Beef & Boards Ring of Fire is a different kind of musical

Oh Come Angel Band

Photo courtesy B&B media

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre is currently offering a different kind of musical. Ring of Fire brings the story of Johnny Cash to life by means of his songs via an ensemble made up of eight remarkably talented musicians who also shine as singers and dancers.

The clever script in the first act brings you into the history of the Cash family with the eight players each taking on the “role” of Johnny Cash. By means of narration and appropriate song selection the audience gets a real appreciation of the ancestry of the family of Johnny Cash.

One remarkable aspect of the players is their ability to play virtually any instrument. While most have a primary instrument, all take turns on most all of the instruments. Guitars, 5 string, bass fiddle, accordion and washboard are but a few of the tools that produce the exciting, toe-tapping and emotional music in the show.

While all of the players are very talented and worthy of mention,  I would be remiss if I did not comment specifically on the fiddle playin’ of Melody Allegra Berger. She is the featured performer in the entr’acte offering of “The Orange Blossom Special”. Her rendition makes it clear why she is an award winning fiddler known nation wide.

This is not your typical musical by any means. The Man in Black is never impersonated, but Johnny Cash’s remarkable story is told through his music. Ring of Fire does not have a plot line. Expect instead great music, songs made famous by Johnny Cash and a most enjoyable evening. This unique production is one you will not want to miss. If you think you don’t like the music of this genre, well, that is too bad. You’re missing a terrific show, a great meal and a great time.

Ring of Fire runs through August 13th. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. For more information visit the Beef & Boards website. This production is sponsored in part by WFMS 95.5 FM and Gaither Family Resources.

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Ring of Fire opens at Beef & Boards

Johnny CashThe iconic songs of Johnny Cash will provide a unique entertainment opportunity starting this week at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre on Indy’s northwest side. Ring of Fire is not your typical musical. According to a Beef and Boards press release:

“An icon of American music history, Johnny Cash’s contributions as a singer songwriter are legendary. Ring of Fire brings his story of love and faith, struggle and success, rowdiness and redemption, and home and family to the stage. More than two dozen of his hits, from “I Walk the Line,” to “A Boy Named Sue,” to “Folsom Prison Blues,” and the famous title tune are performed by a multi-talented cast.”

Johnny Cash’s amazing story is told through his music, making Ring of Fire an exhilarating salute to the Man in Black. Of interest is the fact that Cash is never impersonated in the show. Sher and I are really looking forward to attending a performance soon. We will have a full review posted after we go!

There will be 44 performances of Ring of Fire in the intimate atmosphere of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. For complete show schedule, visit the Beef & Boards website.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat thrills the crowds at Beef & Boards

The cast sings “Go, Go, Go Joseph” Courtesy B&B Media

The cast sings “Go, Go, Go Joseph” Courtesy B&B Media

Beef & Boards is offering the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice production of  Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat as its first musical of the 2017 season. Prepare to put a smile on your face as you enjoy this delightful presentation at Indy’s beloved dinner theatre that runs through March 26th.

Tim Wessel has the title role. Having been the understudy for the character in the recent National Tour, Wessel brings a life long love of the production to his performance. Based on the Old Testament story of Joseph and his life in Egypt, the show was nominated for seven Tony Awards during its Broadway run. Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat features a wide variety of music including country, rock, pop and even calypso.

All aspects of the production reveal the professionalism and expertise of the Beef & Boards theatre. The costumes designed by Jill Kelly are a visual treat. The stage set is both dynamic and stunning. The orchestra, directed by Kristy Templet, brings an amazing variety of music to the stage. Doug King both directs and choreographs with an eye for an exciting show. The dancing is superb. Hats off to the talented kids in the Children’s Ensembles who show remarkable on stage poise and talent.

Andrea Fleming makes her B&B debut as the Narrator. Douglas E. Stark in his 45th year in the business is delightful in his portrayal of Jacob and Potiphar. Look for hilarious anachronisms that pop up all through the show including Disco, country swing, and of course Elvis.

Andrea Fleming as the Narrator Courtesy B&B Media

Andrea Fleming as the Narrator Courtesy B&B Media

Ryan Neal Green is incredible in his number that has Pharaoh turning into an Egyptian version of Elvis, complete with the hair and gyrating hips. Prepare to tap your feet, smile and think “are they really doing this?” Once again the elaborate costumes add to the splendor of the number. Green’s kibitzing with the crowd adds yet another dimension to the scene.

This production has gone to the top of the list for our favorite shows we have enjoyed at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Every aspect of the show is exciting and surprising. The finale of the show has the entire Company in the “Joseph Megamix” featuring a wildly energetic number that acts a a wrap up. You’ll love it. Don’t miss this show.

Check the Beef & Boards website for information. Tickets are available by calling the box office at 317.872.9664 between 10 a.m. & 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. Tickets include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet, fruit & salad bar, and select beverages. Plenty of free parking is available.

A Beef and Boards Christmas celebrates the season

Rudolph really can fly!

Rudolph really can fly!

One of the favorite holiday shows in Indiana is back on stage at Beef & Boards on Indy’s northwest side. This beloved variety show, celebrating a 24 year run, is known for its consistent quality. I think the 2016 version of the show actually raised the bar for the overall quality of the production.

Once again the show is hosted by Deb Wims and Kenny Shepard. This will be the last time you will be able to enjoy the heartwarming performance of this marvelous duo as Deb will soon be relocating with her family out-of-state.

The extremely talented principal singers this year is a quartet including Peter Scharbrough, Kyle Durbin, Betsy Norton and Cara Statham. Returning as the featured vocalist for the show is Kendra Lynn Lucas. Kendra brings an amazingly strong voice to all of her many songs. Music director Kristy Templet leads the B&B Orchestra, placed center stage. Several numbers feature just the orchestra which is a real treat.

Fancy costumes, great dancing and exciting song!

Fancy costumes, great dancing and exciting song!

You will be immersed in the spirit of the season during the show. The costumes are, well, stunning. I am still in awe of the number of costume changes! (Hats off to costume designer Jill Kelly Howe) Director/Choreographer Ron Morgan has put together a fabulous production. The action is nonstop and exciting.

Kendra Lynn Lucas center stage singing "O Holy Night"

Kendra Lynn Lucas center stage singing “O Holy Night”

My favorite numbers? I have to say I loved them all. OK, I loved the Grinch, Alvin and the Chipmunks and flying Rudolph. Each year I cherish Kendra Lynn Lucas belting out “O Holy Night”. Her passion flows out and envelopes the entire house with the Spirit of Christmas.

A Beef & Boards Christmas runs through December 23rd. Chef Odell Ward’s holiday buffet is a true culinary delight and is a great way to start your fun filled and joyous evening at indy’s beloved dinner theatre. For reservations you can call the box office at 317.872.9664 or visit the Beef & Boards website.

Beef & Boards takes you Into the Woods

Little Red Ridinghood (Jaddy Ciucci), right, asks for a loaf of bread from the Baker (Don Farrell), left, and his wife (Meaghan Sands), center, in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Photo courtesy B&B media

Little Red Ridinghood (Jaddy Ciucci), right, asks for a loaf of bread from the Baker (Don Farrell), left, and his wife (Meaghan Sands), center, in Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods. Photo courtesy B&B media

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre ventures into new territory this fall with its production of Into the Woods, the Stephen Sondheim musical version of classic Brothers Grimm Fairy Tales. This production first hit the Broadway stage in 1987 with multiple Tony Awards to its credit. Disney made a movie of the tale in 2014.

This striking production takes beloved fairy tales through two different stages. The first act brings the familiar story lines to the audience with music and clever comedy. Cinderella wants to attend the “festival”, Little Red Ridinghood is off to Granny’s house with a basket of goodies, Jack (of beanstalk fame) wants his cow to give milk and the baker and his wife want a baby. Rapunzel is also looking for a suitor to save her from her life in the tower. Happily ever after comes at the conclusion of Act 1.

Act 2 explores what occurs after “Happily Ever After”. Decisions have consequences is the theme of the often dark side of the continuation of the story lines. Let me just say that events that occur in Act 2 do not always fit into a “Happily” ever after definition.

The live orchestra brings vibrant music to the many songs performed for this production. The acting is superb with realistic character development. The set design for the woods is moody to fit, including the moving turntable that gives the illusion of the characters covering long distances as they weave in and out through the trees. You’ll feel the impact of the footsteps of the giants as well!

The Wolf (Timothy Ford) encounters Little Red Ridinghood (Jaddy Ciucci) as she journeys to her grandmother’s house. Photo courtesy B&B media

The Wolf (Timothy Ford) encounters Little Red Ridinghood (Jaddy Ciucci) as she journeys to her grandmother’s house. Photo courtesy B&B media

The costumes both set the stage and fit the characters. Of special note is the incredible makeup for the Witch. Her face will bring an unsettling vision to your eyes. Likewise the frightening presentation of the Wolf as he stalks Red Riding Hood will both delight and scare.

Please note that this performance is recommended for audiences age 13 and above.

Into the Woods is on stage through Nov. 20 in the intimate space of Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre. Tickets range from $41 to $66 and include Chef Odell Ward’s dinner buffet and select beverages. Parking is always free. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664 anytime between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays. Go to the Beef & Boards website for complete details.

Take the kids to Beef & Boards “Beauty and the Beast”

Photo courtesy Beef & Boards media

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre has the perfect show now running through July 10 for your kids or grandkids. Beauty and the Beast is of course based on the Disney animated film. This remarkable production fully immerses you into the timeless story of a prince condemed to be cursed until he can find true love. The curse has transformed him into a beastly form.

You know the story: beautiful Belle ends up in the castle of the Beast. The servants in the castle are slowly being transformed into various household items. Time is running out as the rose is losing its petals. When all petals fall the curse becomes permanent.

This production sets the bar very high for overall quality. The talented cast shines as characters are developed. Preston Yates is marvelous in his portrayal of the Beast. He brings his character through the imprressive Beast makeup. Belle (Julia Bonnett) shows her loving feelings and emtions for not only her father but eventually for the Beast as well. A special tip of the hat goes to Jon McHatton for his rendition of Gaston, the egotistical cad who can’t understand why Belle won’t fall for him. Gaston is one you love to hate. And wait until you see Sam McKanney’s take on Gaston’s sidekick LeFou. LeFou is bumbling, clueless and laugh out loud hilarious. Enough said.

Photo courtesy Beef & Boards media

Photo courtesy Beef & Boards media

You will be amazed at the costumes in this show. Mrs. Potts, little Chip and of course Lumière all have striking costumes. How they present Chip is clever, fun and a large part of the overall effectof the production.During the classic “Be Our Guest” number you will be treated to an extravaganza of colorful costumes including forks, salt and pepper shakers and beautiful gold ringed white napkins!

The live orchestra fills the theater with the classic music you know and expect from this show. The stage sets are superb and the lighting constantly sets the mood for each and every scene. The quality of this production cannot be emphasized enough. The chldren in your family will truly be thrilled with this show. Chef Odell Ward presents a family friendly buffet that will please kids of all ages.

Beauty and the Beast is Beef & Boards’ 2016 Season Family Show. $10 discounts for are offered kids ages 3-15. For reservations, call the box office at 317.872.9664. For more information, including show schedule, visit beefandboards.com.